Comments on: “Betrayed in China: One Entrepreneur’s Hard Journey East”

Haven’t yet found the time to read the books “Poorly made in China” (reviewed here) or “Mr. China: A Memoir”?  Well you are in luck. Take a few minutes and read “Betrayed in China: One Entrepreneur’s Hard Journey East”.

The Feb 2013 Inc. Magazine is pretty much an executive summary or cliff notes’ version of the aforementioned books.  All the joys and sorrows of sourcing- but in an easy to read format.

If you are new to China sourcing, you will say “OMG”.  If you are an active reader of CSIC you will say “been there, done that.”   But both camps will find enjoyment and maybe even pick up a few tips from Adam Kasha’s “from-the-gut approach” to China sourcing.

Two of Adam’s realizations struck accord with me as I read the article.

Adam’s trust was abused by a local partner serving as an intermediary. Now he deals direct with China on his own.

Preach on my brother! I’m sick of Chinese traders (especially the ones in HK) and plenty of Western “consultants” who use scare tactics to imply that buyers can’t go China-direct without their help as an intermediary to bridge the so called “culture gap” and the “mysterious Asian ways” of doing business.

Yes, China is different from the US.  But so are Japan, Mexico and even Canada!  For some reason there is the misperception that China is “uniquely unique”.  I don’t buy it.

Here at the CSIC we believe that if buyers apply the free tools and techniques readily available at and other sites, these educated buyers will have a significantly shorter learning curve than the protagonists of the books and article mentioned above. 

It’s not easy to set up operations in China.

The article explains:

…as a foreigner, he couldn’t legally do any of that–couldn’t open an assembly warehouse or hire Chinese workers or ship goods out of the country–unless he spent months and thousands of dollars setting up a Chinese corporate entity called a wholly foreign owned enterprise, or WFOE. He would also need an export license.

I agree that it’s not easy, but setting up a WFOE in China is a lot easier today than even 5 years ago. So if you desire a footprint in China, avoid the sneaky JV partner and consider setting up your own shop or use a reliable 3rd party infrastructure and regardless of who you deal with, make sure to do the due diligence!

Related Content:

Article: Advanced sourcing skills: WFOE’s and other options for a China presence

Video: Common Mistake #4: ‘Failure to conduct due diligence and verify key information’

5 Part Video Series:

Experienced or Not. Setting Up in China. Introduction to Series

Experienced or Not. Setting Up in China. Part 1 of 5

Experienced or Not. Setting Up in China. Part 2 of 5

Experienced or Not. Setting Up in China. Part 3 of 5

Experienced or Not. Setting Up in China. Part 4 of 5

Part 5 of 5 coming out in April 2013

Service provided by the author: 3rd party assembly

About the blogger

CSIC volunteer Mike Bellamy is author of “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” ( and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions (

1 Comment

  1. Joann McCraw on May 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing this information. I will surely find time to read on that article. I don’t like to be betrayed that is why i always make sure that i give my trust to people i know. However, we can never really be sure so, if that time comes that someone will betray me then i just don’t know how to feel. In business, it is important to check on your supplier. Even if it will cost you more money but, it is better to safe than sorry.

Leave a Comment